Monday, July 30, 2007

Pizza Disk

Some years ago, I bought an external USB hard disk drive for archiving. It has worked well, but the past year or so it began making a horrible noise frequently. Usually this noise comes from the disk itself, but on closer inspection I figured out it was the fan in the power supply for the external disk drive, not the disk itself. I just kept on using it, and finally about a month ago the power supply died. We consulted with CH's computer store owner friend, who recommended we simply buy a new case online, "internet shopping" as they say here. CH ordered it on Friday, and to my surprise it arrived on Saturday morning!

Also surprising is how small the new unit is. Some of that size reduction is because this new case will only hold 3-1/2 inch disk drives, while the old one could also hold a 5-1/4 inch drive. But more amazing is how small the electronics have become. The old unit had a fairly good sized circuit board full of parts for the interface, this unit only had ONE chip to do everything! Well, I'm not complaining. And the new unit powered up just fine and now I can access all my old emails going back to 1994 from the archive.

Another interesting thing this weekend is that I decided to branch out with my telephone food ordering experiences. Previously I had only phoned in an order to the pizza shop across the street, and then only after I had visited the store often enough that they knew me. Sunday I decided to call Domino's Pizza and order a pizza all by myself. It took me three calls to get to a person. When I called, there was a recorded voice speaking to me in rapid Korean, then nothing but silence. After three calls, listening carefully to this message, I realized it was asking me to press the number "1" or "2" on my phone (although I don't know WHY). I took a chance and pressed "1", then I got a real person on the line. I told her in Korean, "Speak slowly, I am an American". She replied that she understood, but her speech was anything but slow! Maybe her normal speech is double-fast? Anyway, I ordered a pizza, and was momentarily stumped until I realized she wanted me to give her my address. I told her that in Korean, and the deed was done. I think they really have my address from Caller ID, and just wanted to check that I was not a prankster.

Well, the pizza arrived and it was delicious. I chose something called a Double Crust Steak Pizza. After eating it, I could not exactly figure out why it was called a "double crust". I went to the Domino's USA website, and it was no help. Apparently the menu, even the basic crust styles, are completely different in USA and Korea. It has been pointed out to me (and after a taste test, I agree) that in Korea the Domino's and Papa John's Pizza shops are top quality, whereas in the states we tend to lump them at the bottom of the quality barrel. I've read an interview in the newspaper with the Papa John's president here in Korea, and it sounds like they have a very strong commitment to high quality. On the down side, these pizzas tend to be the most expensive in Korea, whereas they are among the cheapest pizzas in the USA.

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